Uncategorised

Life Drawing

Cambridge Life Lines

Life drawing Introduction

Life drawing (drawing the human figure) continues to  play a central role in both my teaching and art practice. I view the attending of life drawing  classes as akin to going to the gym- a technical and creative  workout. During those few hours in front of the human figure I am presented with  an opportunity to practice those all important observational skills; skills acquired through the practice of giving full attention and focus to the subject. In the process I can also explore ideas around line, form, shape and tone. I also have the opportunity to experiment, and become familiar, with a range of media, techniques and technology whilst  enjoying the company of like minded people both models and fellow artists.

I  have regularly attending Life classes and have run,  drawing classes for many years  including running my own evening Life drawing class here in Cambridge  for 10 years.


Drawing the drawers

During  my life drawing sessions  I have often drawn my students as they focus on the model. Their intense concentration and attentiveness has always fascinated me. Life drawing can be an exhausting activity and observing them, as they struggle with their drawing, can be quite revealing.I often witness many emotions;  flashes of frustration, a suggestion of anguish, brows furrowed in disappointment and, at times expressions of wide-eyed elation on those moments when all is going well.

All this emotion! Little wonder when you consider that, as an activity, drawing  the human form, challenges many pre-conceived assumptions about how we understand the human body. It also lays bare, and insists, that you face up to, and address, these limitations in both ones’ understanding and  technical inadequacies. This self critique and examination is necessary if one is to progress and can be a very difficult & humbling experience to undergo.

Alongside the hard work, however, there is also the thrill of the breakthrough. That excitement that comes from the gaining of new insights, and the encouragement provided by witnessing the slow acquiring of knowledge, skill and technical competencies that were not apparent before.

Media; pencil, rubber and a small A6 sketchbook (size approx’)

To kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was one of a number of books I read after graduating from art school in the late 1990’s and to which I turned to for inspiration and subject matter for my illustrations/paintings. Like so many others who have read Lee’s, until recently, only novel, I loved the book. It is beautifully written, poignant with a serious and disturbing main storyline which is viewed and told  through the eyes of a child, Scout Finch. Yet it is also funny, and in the inspirational character Atticus Finch (Scout’s father), it has provided me with one of my three literary heroes.

The paintings formed the bulk of my first  exhibition held in Gallery 96 on Kings Street in Cambridge (sadly since closed). I enjoyed taping into the rich visual opportunities provided by the period the story is set that of 1930’s, depression era, Alabama, in America’s south, and I indulged, and mined, freely from the written and visual art of the period, including the works of John Steinbeck, Ben Shahn, Romare Bearden, Dorothea Lange and of course  the movies of 1930’s Hollywood.

All paintings are acrylic on stretched cartridge paper. Series painted 1999.

Advent Panels. Foreshadowing. Series 3

Images created using a process which involves collage use of a flexigon, Photoshop and Ipad app (Snapseed)

Advent panels

For a number of years I have been commisioned by St Pauls Church here in Cambridge, to produce 5 advent images for presentation on each Sunday  service in that season up to and including Christmas day. Each year the vicar, Rev Micheal Beckett, comes up with a serious of themes which he develops in each service with the aid of the accompanying image.

I use these commision to develop ideas around techniques, composition and effective visual story telling. There is always a deadline one that gets smaller and smaller as  Christmas day approaches, due in the main to me spending a lot of time on the first two illustrations leaving very little time for the final three. On average each take around 4 days to complete (on and off) from initial sketching out of ideas  to sending the complete image to the printers. The final images are printed on to foamboard and are A1 in size. They are wrapped up in Christmas wrapping paper. Children are invited to unwrap the image in the service.

I try and do a fair bit of reading around each theme and hope they do the job that is asked of them.

Click on images for more informtion

British birds of prey. Series 2. Buzzards

All images are hand drawn and rendered in Photoshop

Related topics;

1. Introduction

2. What’s your super powers?

3. We are family

4. What’s in a name?

5. Brush up your Shakespeare

6. Know your place

7. Mind your language

8. It’s tough at the top

9. The female of the species.

10. All for One & One for all.

11. The beautiful game

12. Scourge of the Roman empire

13. A legendary tale

14. Explosive tear drop

15. Poetry in motion

16. Friend or Foe

17. Strictly come dancing

18. Keeping a tight grip

Click on images for more informtion on each raptor

 

Biography

My life in Illustration

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent cursus accumsan sagittis. Nullam nec nibh eget orci bibendum pharetra sit amet eget diam. Curabitur in vulputate tortor. Maecenas maximus ligula sapien, nec ultricies sem tincidunt nec. In eu lacus vel libero lacinia mattis ut ac mauris. Nullam convallis ullamcorper turpis a dapibus. Nullam et erat nec purus commodo ultricies. Curabitur porta mi orci, a vulputate ligula auctor at. Vestibulum vitae aliquet nisl.Morbi bibendum, eros nec vehicula lobortis, mauris leo ultricies tellus, eu rutrum sapien est id sapien. Nunc ut nisi rhoncus, pharetra mi eget, tempor est. Nulla id cursus est. Nullam sit amet convallis ex. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Mauris metus diam, vulputate a dignissim vitae, consequat in est. Curabitur ac elit et mauris feugiat viverra id id odio.

Cras sodales ac neque ut vulputate. Sed non tempus diam. Vivamus porta purus velit, quis tempus ex maximus nec. Praesent at ornare arcu. Phasellus nec justo vel odio mattis suscipit id feugiat dolor. Donec sit amet ultrices ipsum. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Phasellus interdum dictum aliquet. Morbi at efficitur nulla. Mauris eros diam, egestas eu urna sed, finibus tincidunt mauris. Proin mauris velit, tristique in nunc in, posuere gravida est. Aliquam dictum, tellus eget tempor pretium, tortor lacus lacinia nibh, sed tempus diam mi non eros. Maecenas interdum tincidunt felis, ut pretium sapien fermentum ut.

Cras sit amet augue quis turpis ultrices hendrerit eget a justo. Integer eu sem euismod, ultrices ante nec, commodo quam. Donec dapibus velit vitae euismod egestas. Integer velit massa, maximus vitae fringilla et, tempor id erat. Sed lacinia rutrum augue, imperdiet fringilla leo posuere non. Morbi dui augue, hendrerit ut suscipit sit amet, congue eget enim. Morbi feugiat magna at lacinia varius. Donec aliquet turpis vel augue tincidunt, sit amet condimentum dui ullamcorper. Aliquam pretium, neque ut fermentum vulputate, felis velit placerat magna, sit amet imperdiet massa velit nec lectus. Ut at arcu massa. Nulla volutpat enim non feugiat condimentum.

Integer porttitor mollis velit eu tempor. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Etiam vel est pulvinar est dapibus scelerisque. Etiam fringilla tellus pellentesque, vestibulum arcu non, luctus nulla. Nullam facilisis eleifend diam, vel dictum massa tempor eu. Praesent et velit nec magna venenatis iaculis eu blandit tellus. Donec at eleifend urna, eget luctus lectus. Donec at consectetur eros. Cras congue est eu massa gravida, pharetra mollis tellus finibus. Pellentesque posuere porta erat ac condimentum. Suspendisse sit amet posuere magna. Aliquam varius iaculis porttitor. Aenean faucibus magna a nisi finibus pellentesque. Donec vel eleifend est, vitae commodo eros. Nam diam mi, congue eu justo eu, sollicitudin blandit leo.